CC Sabathia willing to lose weight

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It was reported last winter that CC Sabathia lost 30 pounds simply by cutting Captain Crunch out of his diet. No, really.

Of course, anyone who watched Sabathia pitch this year — especially in the second half — could not help but notice that the Yankees’ ace was not exactly in the best shape of his life.  Talking with the media after agreeing to an extension with the Yankees yesterday, CC admitted that his conditioning is something that could use some attention:

“It’s something I do regardless, and be proactive,” Sabathia said during a conference call after agreeing to a new five-year, $122 million deal with the Yankees. “I just need to go out and be healthy and try to do what I can to be up there for every start for this team. For me, that means losing weight, so that’s what I’ll do.”

That’s good to hear, because the guy is an amazing pitcher. While a lot of that mass — especially below the belt — likely helps his pitching, the gut and carrying it all around can’t be helping any. If nothing else, his stamina is probably suffering as a result.

When you’re as big as Sabathia is already, and when you have the time, money and access for trainers and dietitians and everything, losing the 30-40 pounds he likely needs to lose is a doable thing. I mean, I’m just some schmo blogger and I’ve lost 27 pounds since April simply by hopping on the basement treadmill, watching science fiction shows and saying no to that extra slice of pizza from time to time.

Good luck, CC. I’d love to write a Best Shape of His Life story about you next spring that isn’t dubious or sarcastic. I then want to be able to make fun of a bunch of those “we’ll never see a 300 game winner again” stories we’ll no doubt get when you pass the mark at the end of a long and healthy career.

Sandy Leon homered twice in one inning, including a grand slam

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Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.

Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.

How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.

As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.

Phillies release veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.

Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.